Equality For All: Are African Americans being “Weeded Out”?
In urban communities whenever someone is looking for marijuana or information on marijuana they go to something referred to in the neighborhood as “the dope house”. The dope house has always had a negative stigma as a house that criminals use to sell drugs that destroy the community. It depends on how one may look at it.
Those individuals living in these areas may see the neighborhood dope house as somewhat of a recruitment center by employing many individuals who the war on drugs has left unable to become employable in today’s competitive market. I found it extremely perplexing that the same product that has been landing many in these communities in the prison system is currently making a select few millions of dollars.
Young men and women in these communities have been able to prove consistently they have what it takes to become true competitors in this market. Anytime one can take a product from its manufacturing stage (planting and harvesting), take it to its distribution stage (bagging up and selling) and reinvest in its organization (the re-up) is already a proven self made entrepreneur. Not to mention the customer service skills the average street dealer must possess to maintain customer retention in a competitive underground black market. Here’s the kick, most of these individuals run extremely lucrative illegal businesses without the luxury of being able to keep records on books out of failure of incriminating themselves. Yet they are still incarcerated in larger amounts than those from outside of these communities.
It is time for a solution, and the solution is simple. Turn the negative connotation of the dope house into a beacon in the community that truly brings health awareness and economic development to those often forgotten in emerging industries. We believe that fair and equal “legal” access of this trade will allow for these communities to benefit tremendously.
The D.O.P.E (Delivering Opportunities for People Everywhere) House Inc. is a not-for-profit organization that was created in direct action to the lack of diversity in the medical marijuana industry. Our mission is to provide EQUAL Medical Marijuana Access, Resources, Education, and Employment primarily in low-income/minority communities. Founded in Chicago, Illinois where a high crime and murder rate is all too much the norm, we aim to bring something to the disadvantaged communities that statistics show they are most suited to excel at. Imagine how this industry could bring help to a struggling Chicago Public School system. Not to mention that in bringing economic advancement to these areas through employment workshops, networking opportunities, and entrepreneurial training, The D.O.P.E House also sets up a way for the community to heal itself.
Cerrone Crowder is the CEO of The D.O.P.E (Delivering Opportunities for People Everywhere) House Inc., a nonprofit based in the Chicago-land area whose mission is aimed at providing equal Medical Marijuana access to low-income patients. As an emergency medical professional for over a decade, “The Weed Professor” has dedicated himself to educating the masses on the numerous health benefits of the cannabis plant. He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org